“Whoa. What the fuck was that? What the fuck is going on? What the fuck happened here? Holy crap!” Kylaria looked about the wreck of her home, “Well, at least I can fix this. It is annoying as hell but better than what was a haunting the place. I guess I owe you an explanation of sorts. Now that I know what happened.”
Lance retracts his armor, as he turns to her again, his skin returning to normal. Sheathing his sowrd he made a hand motion, “Move out, check everything, find artifact, item, hole in the ground, crack in reality. Find it and report it.” His men moved out as orders and with a smile Lance said, “Yeah, lets go and talk while my men work.”
“Well, how the start is this story, it’s old. Like me.”
Smiling at her with interest, “At the beginning is a good place to start, hold on though…” he turned from her, still holding an incredible amount of energy, putting his wrists together, fingers pointed out and directing his palms toward the sky, energy erupted from them in a beam dispersing harmlessly out into the atmosphere.
“You realize that I am old right? Very old. I was whelped, or rather born,” she watches him expel the energy from his body and comments, “It all has to go somewhere eh?” Then she returns to what he was staying, “But you know, I am about…” she paused to think, “2400 years old or so. Give or take a few decades. I stopped counting after three hundred years.” She walked and talked and where she stepped the ground began to heal, hot green but what grew belonged there. Cactus flowed along with aloe and agave. Even the desert had life. A date tree popped up here and there, saplings. “I am originally from where you could call ancient Ireland. Connemara region. I was born a were - or back then we were called Garou. Some call us skin-walkers here in the desert. Depends on the legends you follow I guess. I was a daughter to a leader and was destined to mate with one that would give my family a good allegiance. He was a nice fellow I suppose. I barely remember him now.”
Lance commented on what her observation first, “Energy cannot be created or destroyed. Only transformed.” Pausing himself to listen to her and watching the land recover as she stepped, “I figured you were old, but I didn’t probe your mind enough to find out how old.”
“And yes, I am that old. I was there when Jesus was a child and I watched him die.” she said laughing softly. “Well, there were always factions and clan wars Lance. History has not changed much. magic was strong then and everywhere! Not science but magic. Fae and demons alike lived, well, not in peace but in balance. But vampire lived too, or existed. They too are subject to balance and the population exploded and they competed for food, namely us. Our lands were coveted by a Gangrel Prince. I was oh, 18 or 19 at the time and only thought of marrying. It was shock when they came crashing down our door and slaughtered everyone before my eyes. Mother, father, and sibling, even the baby dead.” Kylaria sighed a bit and caught her breath slightly before continuing. “It is traditional that my kind do not succumb to the bite. I tried to fall on my fathers sword but was taken by this Prince and he turned me. Bad things happen when a were turns. We become unstable.” She laughed at the memory and Lance growled under his breath as they walked about the property, his people going about their jobs while he listened. She continued, “I was chained in the dungeon for about 200 years before I stabilized or, seemed to. I was still a shifter and had some abilities to block my mind from the Prince and fool him into thinking I was his creature and pet.”
Lance couldn’t help but growl at the story of this Prince, Kylaria growled in return as if an instinctual response to the shared experience of hating Vampires. “I’ve seen a few with similar problems,” he gestures to a group of soldiers who were doing work along side a shaman with a very large hunk of glowing quarts, “He had a similar problem.”
“Abominations? Yes. That is what we are called when we survive the bite. Another 200 years passed until I got free because vampires are such a vain lot. They thought escape was beyond my ability.” She laughed at that, “Stupid creatures! I made my way back to the Connemara home where I once lived, which, of course was long since gone as well as my betrothed family. I had changed but I burned for revenge. So I traveled and learned the sword and shield. I became a knight errant and bit by bit, picked them off. It is in the history books as the Vampire War of Connemara County. All of the MacNells were wiped out according to the books but not me! I beheaded each of them over the next few centuries, burning the bodies and burying their heads in salt! Those spirits are the ones I killed Lance! They returned to get revenge.” She took another breath before moving on from that explanation, but did continue, “Over time I learned control over the monster I was. I fought along side of Attila the Hun, Alexander the Great, and Ivan the Terrible. I was in the Ranks of the Fionna, the elite army of the Irish King. I fought with Fion Mcuill. I tried to fight the good fight but I could not do it. I raged again and then became known as the Scourge of Ireland.” Grinning a bit she commented as an aside, “Also in the history books” showing him her hands and the brands of twin phoenixes on them, before continuing, “I paved Ireland with rivers of blood, until I bit the wrong male. I should have died then Lance but the blood I drank stabilized me and made me as you see me now.” As they walked all the land was healing the entire time and the ranch now looked more like an oasis in the desert, saplings growing into trees at an incredibly rapid rate. “I am a mix of evil and good, life and death. And I have a bad temper, did I mention this to you yet?”
Lance laughed, “Yes, well, you should see me on Mondays.”
She gave him a slightly quirked brow with a continued grin, “I am really bad before coffee.”
Winking at her Lance answered looking at thing seriously, “It is going to take them the better part of the day to finish the sweeps, then put protections on. So, we need to talk about the, situation.” His grin turned more into a smile and it is obvious he means the exchange.
“Going to be a bitch rebuilding this but a tleast the ridge are safely away as are the animals. Of course, I will hold up my end of the deal. I will meet all obligations needed to be met.”
“Well… I don’t mean to seem mercenary about things but, I think we went a bit above and beyond, don’t you?”
She looked around a bit and hard to agree, “The situation was far worse than I knew. Can’t deny it. This really did such the big one buddy.”
“Look, here’s the deal.” he looked at her straight.
While she probably should have been in tears and freaked out, she was just herself, “What do you need from me as recompense.”
“We need to occasionally keep people out of the way of other organizations… What I need is a no-fuss-no-muss place to stash them. They aren’t always willing but it is always to keep them safe.”
“A safe house of sorts?”
“It’s is off books, and they can sometimes be dangerous. Sort of. But in exchange, you get assistance, immigration will leave you alone, and I don’t care what laws get broken so long as you inform me on what is going on. And, don’t start making a scene, if this place gets looked at we’ll have to pull out.”
“Well, considering the shit that went down here, that sounds fair enough. And I don’t make scenes Lance. I put an end to them. Quickly.”
“Good.” Kylaria looked around at the oasis she created but as Lance continued as she looked, “Oh, and, I should apologize for the kiss. I kind of got caught in the moment. Was it good for you?”
She offered a small smile that was half challenge, “Did you?”
“Yeah, I didn’t have to kiss you to do that, but it seemed like the thing to do at the time.” He gave her a slight wink.
She laughed at that comment, “You should know that was a first kiss in, well, many, many, many centuries. The first kiss was from my betrothed. You were the second one.”
He raised both his eyebrows, “I am honored.” He does his best courtly bow, it was even accurate in a strange way to her time period, perhaps of a Germanic origin.
“Time were different then as I think you know and rules were different. So… Lets just say that there are some things I have not gotten around to doing at the time. And never got aroudn to doing now because it could be complicated.”
“Trying to imagine you in a dress though, that would be a sight.”
“Can you now? I detested dresses but wore them I did, until I did not have to anymore.”
“Well, I did wear a dress for a full week once, covert operations can be a real pain in the ass ya know?”
Kylaria almost fell over her feet on that one. “Don’t you just hate shaving the legs?”
“That wasn’t as bad as the corset.” Lance felt his face, “I already shave this, so it wasn’t that much worse but that corset hurt.”
“Ah yes, the torture device.” She whispered conspiratorially, “I kept on burning mine as a girl.” She looked around again at the oasis she had created, “This is going to be a pain in the ass to clear when i rebuilt. Happens every time I touch land that is damaged. It returns to a natural state. That is, unless I control myself and right now control is not happening.”
He turned to her, takes her hands in his and asks, “Now, may we do this a little more proper?” leaning in just a hair, but not looking like a moron teenager on a first date.
She grips his hands in turn, tilting her head, “What do you have in mind my good male?”
“Just a kiss.”
She was trying not to smile and be her serious bad self but failing miserably, “I should protest and call you a scalawag, and defiler of innocent maids. A kiss would not be a bad thing considering all things. A good way to end a successful mission?”
“Perhaps practicing would be good as I hope for more successful missions.”
Leaning closer, gently he pulled her close to him and lips pressed to hers, not an open mouthed kiss but a brushing of lips and a slight slide of tongue along her lips but not forceful. She inhales a bit at first letting him do as he wants as she figures out where he is going with this. Her lips parted and were perhaps be a bit warmer than usual as her temperature was warmer than a normal person. She kept hold of his hands because she liked the feeling, her kiss was a good mimic to his, tongue included as it seemed the right thing to do. The kiss broke as he pulled back as he didn’t want to be presumptuous besides it was bad to be snogging someone in front of your men. Though a soft kiss was always nice. Realizing where they were she did not blush at all, really she was too old for that girlish nonsense. She pulled back as well, her golden gaze soft but alert as she was already figuring things out. Glancing around at the men for a moment, “I do wonder what happens if a mission is not successful.”
“There is a lot that happens when a mission is incomplete, to take one’s mind off of it.” Giving her a wink and then leaving it at that.
She blinked at him as his breath tickled a bit. She would lean this game if possible, mostly by following his lead and mimicking but she understood what was between males and females well enough, “Well the spirits did say they would be back, so perhaps this mission needs to be completed?” She accented her point with a nose rubbed against his cheek much like a wolf might do a pack-mate. Pulling her head back just enough and gives him a so there sort of look. She still had her hands in his and tells him in a conversational tone, “When I marched with Alexander the Great, there was much drinking and carousing when a battle was won… Or lost. It was rather hard, at times, to figure out what was going on.”
“You’re not sure what I’m talking about, are you?” he asked not condescendingly, but quietly almost like a friend.
“Perhaps not Lance, perhaps yes. We play a game here and I am not quite sure of all the rules yet.” Lance glanced at her and opens his mind to her, to show… Flashes of after a mission and the sexual escapades that go on – nothing explicit visually but extremely emotionally explicit, the trickle of the thoughts from his mind travelling to hers. She blinked several times as she absorbs the images and now understands what he means, “So that is why I was told to go elsewhere for a while?” She laughed a bit, “Definitely different from barn animals, don’t you think?”
Giving her a conspiratorial smile, Lance just responds with, “Yes, it is. But that is part of the fun of it, isn’t it?”
“I suppose so. What I do like about this day and age is things are not so in the dark… So fun is what you call it now a days? We used to call it tupping.”
Lance gives a soft chuckle, “Fun is… Multi-use, sometimes people call it romping, in southern regions it is rolling in the hey, my personal favorite of all the things I’ve heard it called shtupping.”
Kylaria laughs loudly at that, “The last one is funny. How interesting it has so many names.”
“Oh, that’s not even the least of the names…” He puts on a very bad English accent, “Shagging, it is called in the Jolly old’ England,” and then continues normally, but finding it hard not to laugh, “More crass teenagers call it porking or boinking, which I always figured means they’ve never done it.” A low truck with her jeep on it pulls up to the property where people start unloading it carefully, apparently they washed it too as it is clean of all the dust and dirt.
She wipes her eyes from laughter, “Oh, thanks for the tow by the way. Ah, nice to see the beast clean and pretty for once. So… Should we order a pizza or something?”
“No need… My assistant, a Lieutenant Neon, is really good at anticipating needs. I’ll bet…” He is interrupted by a taco truck pulling up and setting up shop, “There, he’s had a fascination for food trucks, something he saw on TV lately.”
“Oh, Tex Mex? That rocks. Least feasting after the war has not changed. But am I sent away to town this time?”
“So, which of the generals sent you off to down?”
“You would know him as Ivan the terrible in history. He was not so terrible really. Kind of thought of me as a daughter and did not want me seeing things.” She seemed to think that was entirely too amusing while Lance just shook his head while he listened to her, “At that point I had already seen what I needed to see when barn animals mated. I did not need to see more so I would absent myself when the men wished to do as they wanted. To me, it was not such a big deal. Never claimed to understand it all but I know what it’s about. Some of it is relief of stress, other times it is the bear young. Sometimes when a village was raided it was used to demoralize males and females and make them realize they are conquered.” After a short pause she added, “All of it has its place on the battle field I suppose.”
“To be honest, it is a bit different now. Well, most times. Some groups still do it to demoralize, but it causes havoc in the ranks to let them go wild.”
“Well you have things now like the United Nations and the Geneva Convention with this Rules of War crap. Complicated, no? I have been on the losing side of battles but I did have an advantage that I was not human and was not able to use my own abilities to be left in peace. Before it was known that I was a were, I’d carry a big stick with me and bash any male over the head that wished to do what I did not wish to do.” She sniffed the air and smiled smelling, “Tacos! So, shall we get something to eat while we contemplate the history of war?”
Lance just laughed openly at that, “You’d win. I haven’t been alive as long. Now, if you want we can compare supernatural escapades, since that is mostly what I deal with.”
“Well I am indeed a living book, am I not? I also speak several languages but several of them are dead now.”
“That is one way to term it.” He gave a light chuckle, “You know, you and me should go back to my office some time and talk tactics of war. I get into some hairy ground situations that you might have a good take on.”
“I’d be happy to talk strategy with you if you want. We have much we can learn from one another I think. And I enjoy learning things.” She looked around at the now oasis that seems to be growing and took a few deep breaths and it stops growing, “Need to stop that sometimes. Looks better than before at least. Hope you will be around for a while Lance. Kind of like someone familiar with me for when it comes time to burn. You’d think it would be no big deal but the first few minutes are very… Odd.”
“I’ve burned a few times myself. You should have seen the Captain’s face when I was briefly turned.”
“Yeah? Guess old stick-up-his-ass near had a heart attack.”
“No, don’t ever tell him I said so, but I was lucky he found me. It took a seriously amazing display of cunning to turn me back.”
“I could not be turned back until I bit the wrong male. Good to be alive again. I missed food. Blood got boring fast, but now I have to burn each year and return new.”
“I know, I like meat rare, but it was horrible.” With a short paused, he continued on how he was turned back, “Well… It took 27 shamans, the blood of five vampires, and this,” he gestures to his ring, the sapphire in it was lowing brightly earlier, “It’s a Solar Crystal.”
She sniffed at the ring as if to obtain an origin of sorts, “Hm. An interesting tale and a lovely gem indeed. It has some power then?”
“It has more than some, was kind of hoping you might know where it came from. We’ve found only a tiny handful like it. But we have no idea the origin.”
“Hm.” She thinks for a few moments, “Interesting scent to it. It is not a stone I think,” she took his hand and inhaled deeply, “There is life to it. No, not a stone but a living thing it is,” she sniffs again, “This is connected to you, I think. Perhaps a symbiotic relationship?”
“It…” he pauses on the urge to really get into it, it wasn’t something you talked about to people really, the power was incredible and if someone got one of these stones when they shouldn’t, it could be disastrous. In the end he decided it was safe to. Though if asked he wouldn’t have been able to explain why he felt that way. “It can do some incredible things, but is an object that meets power with power. To use it one has to have power.”
She sniffs at it again, “No, it is not an ordinary stone at all. Yes, it is magical and rare. Looks much like a sapphire of this world but it has magics. You belong to it and it belongs to you, strong magics here.”
He nods at what she says, “It is bound to me, it happens instantly when someone picks up one. Makes them hard to study.”
“Ah. I think I understand it. It is like an extra go gear for someone who has magics. A catalyst of sorts. It can bring out power that is deeply hidden I think. A tiny bit of power becomes a tiny bit more power, yes. Cannot say where it comes from but it is not of this world or galaxy.” She didn’t make an effort to touch it, just sniffed at gazed at it. “I suspect that the stone is truly a living part of the universe that broke off randomly and fell. I should show you something when you feel up to it.”
Getting another mischievous look Lance turns to her and says, “That goes along with what it does. Want to see?”
Nodding to him she just says, “Sure.”
Lance pulls his hand gently back and checks to makes sure none of the men are actively watching him. He points his palm at the ground, the ring begins to glow while energy masses around it in a palpable way. Reality begins to distort around the ground, bending it inward as if the end of a large ball was pressing into the ground slowly. Lance increases the power and the ground starts to change and shift, warping in shape and texture. The course but packed sand begins to smooth out and meld together like glass. The process creates no heat. While Kylaria blinks trying to figure out what was happening, he just grins and asks, “You want to see more?” It is always exciting to actually use the crystal, he didn’t actually do it very often but somehow he liked showing off a bit to this girl. She was nice and nice was not something he was – nor was it something he saw often.
“Hm. Interesting. Is it something that destroys?”
“Oh yes.” She nodded genuinely interested while he looked around and then turned back to her, “Point at something you don’t want here.” He finally said while keeping the energy up, swirling and smoothing around the patch of ground in a steady flow of power coming from him and the ring, both acting as one.
“Well, Langly isn’t here so can’t do that can we?” He just looked at her strangely for a moment, not getting the joke, she just grinned a bit more and responded, “It’s a joke man.”
“I know. But seriously, point at something.”
“Oh, this boulder, the one about 100 feet away. Gonna be a pain in the ass to move…”
With a slight nod Lance turns to the boulder looking at it and concentrating, the energy begins to shift away from the ground, coalescing at the crystal itself. Kylaria observers the energy and his actions clinically, curious as to how this worked. Looking to Lance and the stone as if seeing one effecting the other. “It’s going to produce a lot of energy, you want to feel something amazing?”
“Well, this day is already amazing, so sure, go for it.”
Lance extended his hand to hers, waiting for her to grasp it. Tilting her head, Kylaria reached for his hand, he gently took it, and then with his other hand he closed his fist and pointed it and the ring at the boulder. The energy that had coalesced at the ring began to ripple out from the crystal and wrapped around the boulder. She could feel the power, but that was it. As it moved through the boulder, through it, inside it, and back around again she could feel the current passing through her. His magic, she allowed it to surround her rather than absorbing it, liking the feel of it, the ebb and flow as he used the magic. She stayed still to experience the full effect, eyes slowly falling shut as she tips her head back, breathing quietly. This felt good to her so far.
Changing the pattern of the energy Lance collapsed the bubble around the boulder and ripped it out of reality. The matter converted directly into energy, an incredible, unimaginable amount of power courses into them both, the energy wasn’t painful but was more like having your entire body dipped in and bathed in mental power tingling every bit intensely erotic, euphoric, like having sex, climaxing, and then cuddling all at the same time. Kylaria lets out a soft moan of sorts, feeling the power course through her veins. It was more than she could take in one short so she returned power back to him, trying to start a cycle of sorts so the power could spin back and forth between them both stuttering, she tried to ask, “What?” The energy and power built in a feed-back loop between the both of them.
“Just let it build,” Lance said, one word at a time, enjoying the feel o power between them without considering at all if she would want this level of building between them. After-all, he wasn’t really into considering how others felt. Kylaria was unsure as to why anyone would do this to her, she felt a mix of invaded and not at the same time. Shivering again as the power coursed back and forth over and over. Her own fires were building too, touching the power he kept sending her. Sweat started to bead over her body, rivulets dripping down her upturned face. Her grip on his hand spasmed tightly as she felt her knees buckle. Suddenly with little warning a bright beam of light shot out from her eyes, lips, and nose. A psionic scream that is half human and half beast filled Lance’s mind.
Intrigued by the psionic energy released in the scream, it felt like fire, images of a phoenix filled Lance’s mind burning with psionic flame. Trying to draw the flame into himself the phoenix fire began to filter into the looping circuit of energy coursing between them. The flavor changed drastically, Lance found that he liked it quite a bit. The cold fire from his own mental abilities with the sparkling energy of the boulder, mixing and swirling with the hot burning flame of her phoenix. Kylaria was to the point of burning up, while her body did not physically ignite she felt as if she might at any moment. Closing her eyes, dripping tears of fire that did not burn her flesh.
Breaking the loop Lance diverted the power, the release was like a physical one leaving aftershocks in its wake and a warm glow about the skin, just not as messy as a traditional release of the body. The power released creating something akin to a sonic boom ripping through the air not just as sound but with a physical pulse of energy going outward like a shock-wave. Suddenly the ground ripped open and an assortment of trees fully grown burst through, assorted fruits were already ripe on the branches. Around the base, tropical flowers surrounded the huge tricks as well as vines curling up their lengths. Kylaria’s body kept shaking and fire tears leaked from her closed eyes. The fire didn’t seem to harm Lance either as he held her, steadying her body. Once she stopped shaking and shivering, she opened her eyes glowing bright gold. Her eyes opened with a questioning expression on her face while Lance continued to watch her a little unsure – which was uncustomary for him to feel. She hadn’t smacked him upside the head, he took that as a good sign.
“I…” Her voice trailed off.
“Incredible, isn’t it?” he asked, a grin on his face with some of his normal arrogance returning.
She was at a loss for words and kept staring at Lance. “What…” Kylaria gathered her words a bit better, “What was it? That energy. What was that?”
Lance licked his lips a bit, as if he could still taste the flavor of it all, “Yours and mine, enhanced by what comes from the boulder when it was destroyed. It is all energy, and has to go somewhere.”
“I almost transformed. Fire. I thought I was going to burn up, but different. But yes, I see what you mean about having to disperse such power. Wow! We did that?” She reached out to touch his hair in a loving way, but hesitated. She felt strange and could not quite get what happened.
“We did.” Was Lance’s only answer, smile growing on his face, feeling more comfortable with her, realizing that he was feeling like the motion of her hand to touch his hair would be perfectly natural. It struck him, right then that his reaction was abnormal. Somewhere in the back of his mind he wondered about this but the usual suspicion and cynicism didn’t reach the surface of his thoughts the way it usually would have.
“I feel like I know you and not sure why.”
“I really. To tell you the truth, am not sure what would have happened if you had transformed, so I broke the link. Mixing my energy in with the boulder, I don’t know what would have happened at all.”
“It’s confusing to me.”
Lance smiled and brought her hand to his lips, kissing the back of it, “That’s normal. Lets go in the house, people would notice the trees. Then we can talk about it more?” It was a question, really he couldn’t remember someone being this OK about it previously.
Kylaria nodded agreement and tried a smile smile herself, “I know you somehow, but different. Most know I am an oddball and would expect some odd things. Look at all this growth! Wow!” She looked around in wonder as she spoke, “I feel somehow closer to you. I know you. You know me. I make no sense!” She walked back with him to the house amazed it was still standing.
Nodding and holding her hand while they walked to the house Lance let her open the door heading inside behind her. Kylaria was surprised the house was still in order. The furnishings were Shaker style in the fact that seating tables and such were clean and simple lines. The floors were wooden and bare of rugs or anything too frilly. The living space had a large living room and a fire place, the desert go cold at night. The kitchen was a simple affair of black and white stone and cabinets with stainless appliance. The artwork on the walls was desert themed. Not a cold place but not all fru-fru either. “Welcome to my home.”